The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the plea of Nithari rapist-cum-serial killer Surinder Koli seeking review of the verdict upholding his conviction and death sentence in one of the murder cases.
"We reject the review petition. No grounds have been made to persuade us to reconsider earlier decision," a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu said.
Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, who appeared "pro bono" (done without compensation for the public good) for Koli, sought reconsideration of the verdict saying it was a case of "miscarriage of justice" as the confessional statement of the accused was "false" and cannot be relied upon.
"One innocent life is more important than anything else. I am shocked that such a thing can happen in the judiciary," he said.
Referring to the confessional statement of Koli, the lawyer said the accused was told by the police not only to "memorise" the names of the victims but also the manner of commission of the crime.
"The accused also says that he was tortured. This vitiates the confessional statement. This fact has not been considered either by the trial court or by the high court or by the Supreme Court," he said.
Jethmalani also alleged the prosecution suppressed the crucial information about the autopsy report of a surgeon that had said that bodies were cut by surgical instruments and with "surgical precision".
The surgeon, who performed the autopsy, was not examined during the trial, he said adding that it could be a case of "organ trade" and handiwork of a doctor and an innocent person is being sent to the gallows. "Why torsos of the victims have been missing," he asked.
"You (Jethmalani) are introducing new facts for the first time in the case," the bench said, adding that so far as the issue of confessional statement is concerned, it must have been considered by the courts below and the Supreme Court.
On September 8, the bench had stayed the execution of death sentence of Koli for killing children in a house in Nithari village in Noida near here in 2006, for a period of one week. Later, on September 12, the stay on the execution of Koli was extended till Tuesday.
During the hearing, Jethmalani said that an interview for a period of five minutes only with a legal aid lawyer was allowed to Koli before recording of his confession. "It is mockery of the legal provision," he said.
The court, however, rejected the contentions and said that it cannot reconsider the verdict in the case.
The plea on behalf of 42-year-old Koli was moved by a team of lawyers led by senior advocate Indira Jaising and was mentioned before the bench after midnight and the stay order was passed at 1:40 am, hours before his execution.
Koli was to be hanged on the early morning of September 8, in Meerut jail, where he has been kept in a high-security barrack.
The lawyers had sought review of the apex court's July 24, 2014 order dismissing the plea to stay the execution of death sentence awarded to Koli.
While seeking stay of execution of the capital punishment, the plea had referred to the September 2 verdict of the apex court in which it had held that the review plea of condemned prisoners must be given an open court hearing.
Image: Nithari killer Surinder Koli